Worries in Our Lives
We realize that life is not that easy. As a matter of fact, it is quite challenging. We face many problems and challenges. These challenges don’t come one by one when we are ready. They are not considerate of our situation. They often come all at once without even giving us a warning. When we have to deal with them all at once, we feel overwhelmed.
So, it is hard to maintain joy, happiness, and peace at all times. Our circumstances don’t allow that. Instead of feeling joyful and hopeful, often we feel heavy, dark, and even overwhelming. We have a dark cloud over our head. We are anxious. Worries and anxieties oppress us.
We can identify with the author of Ecclesiastes.
Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity! What do people gain from all the toil at which they toil under the sun? (Ecclesiastes 1:2, 3)
I saw all the deeds that are done under the sun; and see, all is vanity and a chasing after wind. What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be counted. (Ecclesiastes 1:14, 15)
No matter what we do, sometimes we feel like our life is not getting any better and going anywhere. We don’t get any happier. Sometimes we feel that our life is going nowhere. Nothing really gives us real joy.
The only thing we gain is our weight and worries and anxieties. They not only affect our mood but also affect our physical health.
Worries have become a part of our life. They come automatically. As we sigh automatically, we worry automatically. Worrying has become our habit.
Hear This Voice
Jesus said today,
Do not worry about your life. (Matthew 6:25)
We don’t know how beautiful it is. It is a simple sentence but it penetrates into our soul.
DO NOT WORRY.
While preparing the sermon, when I heard that, I didn’t need to ask why? Why should I not worry? I didn’t have to ask why I shouldn’t worry. Jesus words themselves were the answer.
Sometimes we hear this voice. Do not worry. When we hear that, we don’t need to ask why. Because worries are already gone from us. Even though we have many reasons to worry, somehow, we don’t need to worry.
The prophet Habakkuk said a similar thing.
Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:17, 18)
He rejoiced not because he had good reasons for doing that. The fig tree did not blossom. No fruit was on the vines. The produce of the olive failed. The fields yielded no food. The flock was cut off from the fold. There was no herd in the stalls. So, he had many reasons not to rejoice but to worry. But he rejoiced BECAUSE OF the Lord, BECAUSE OF the God of his salvation.
Maybe we have many reasons to worry. We worry about our health. We worry about our job and our financial situation. We worry about relationship with people. We worry about future. We worry about death.
But Jesus tells us not to worry not because we have reasons not to worry but BECAUSE OF God. God will take care of us. His strong hand holds us tight. That’s why we do not worry.
As God takes care of the birds of the air, God will take care of us. As God clothes the lilies of the field beautifully, God will make our life beautiful.
Dwell in God
What we need is to dwell in God. Don’t depend on anything else. Just dwell in God. Right after Jesus said not to worry, he said,
But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
St. Paul also said,
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6, 7)
It is God who guards our hearts and our minds. When we leave all our worries and anxieties, God will guard our hearts and our minds.
Because God guards our heart and mind, worries cannot enter into our mind. Worries that used to oppress us will lose their power. We don’t feel the weight of that burden anymore. We become free. And the peace that surpasses all understanding fills us.
Not because there are reasons for us to feel peaceful, and good reasons not to worry, but because God guards our heart and our mind, we don’t worry anymore. We have peace. Our circumstances may be exactly the same. We may face the same problems. Didn’t you experience this? Your problems are still there but somehow you feel that you will be all right. You have this peace in your heart. You feel that worries do not sabotage you anymore and do not oppress you anymore.
Peace Surpasses Understanding
Our brain always looks for reasons either to worry or not worry. For example, if we are not comfortable with our stomach for a few days and we don’t know exactly the cause of it, we worry about our health. When we are not secure with our job, we worry. But if our brain finds reasons not to worry, then, we find peace. When you get tested and there is nothing wrong with your stomach, then we have peace. When you are promoted, you feel secure. BUT the brain does not understand the peace that fills our heart when there is no reason for that. That’s why St. Paul said, the peace that SURPASSES UNDERSTANDING. When this kind of peace fills our heart, our heart controls our brain. Brain cannot control us anymore. When that happens, the prophet Habakkuk’s confession becomes possible. Even though we have no reasons, we can rejoice, we can be peaceful and we can be worry free. Habakkuk’s confession did not come from the brain. It came from his heart. When God guards our heart and mind, we can make that kind of confession.
When worries flood into your soul, when they threaten you and oppress you, listen to what Jesus said. Do not worry. God will sustain you. God is our shield, our refuge, and our fortress.
So, the psalmist confessed this.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. (Psalm 42:5, 6)
When we are free from our worries, we can restore the joy of life. This is not something you can buy with money. Squid game showed that to us. This is something that the world cannot give. It is God’s gift.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. (John 14:27)
When we are free from worries, we become free and anger goes away from us. And our heart will overflow with thanksgiving. When worries fill your heart and a dark cloud is over your head, I pray that you hear what Jesus said.
DO NOT WORRY ABOUT YOUR LIFE.
There is power in these words. There is a message hidden that God will take care of you. These words will help you.
When you have things that you worry, write them down. And divide what you can do and what you cannot do. What you can do, do it. But what you cannot do, leave it to God. As St. Paul said,
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
God will give all of you, peace that surpasses understanding.